A History of Video Games
This research begins with the premise that while video-games have become a pervasive cultural force over the last four decades, there is still a dearth of educational and historical material regarding the emergence of video game home consoles and their content. Games have an extensive history, dating back to early radar displays and oscilloscopes of the 1960s (Tennis for Two, 1958) and early home video game consoles of the 1970s (Magnavox Odyssey, 1972). From the JAMMA (Japanese Amusement Machine and Marketing Association) arcade standard of the 80s to the high powered processors of Sonys PS4, video games have come a long way and left a wealth of audio-visual material in their wake. Much of this material, however, is archived and engaged within a traditional manner: through text books or museum exhibitions (Games Master, ACMI 2015). Through interactive design however, this data can be made easily comprehensible and accessible as interactive data-visualisation content. This design research project explores processes of data visualization, interactive design and video game production to open up video game history and communicate its developmental stages in a universally accessible manner. Though there has been research conducted utilising game engines for visualizations in other fields (from landscape architecture to bio-medical science) it has rarely been used to visualize the history of gaming itself. This visualization (utilising the Unreal Engine and incorporating historical video content) creates an accessible preservation and catalogue of video game history, and an interactive graphical interface that allows users to easily learn and understand the history of console development and the processes that lead video games to their current state.